During the observation of Boys Day at Enid Bennett High School in Bog Walk, St. Catherine, Principal Patrick Phillips made an impassioned appeal for boys to stop hating each other because they are of the same gender.
He urged them to appreciate each other in a brotherly way.
Phillips threw out the challenge after some boys in the audience were reluctant to adhere to a request for them to look at each other and tell each other ‘big up’.
“You don’t want to look at each other and that is the very same problem we are having in our society today, because what happens is that we as men hate ourselves and that is why we are killing each other like that,” Phillips trumpeted.
“Nothing is wrong if we appreciate each other as brother… The ladies spend time together; they talk together. That is why you have so many mad men on the road, because you do not spend time together talking with each other – telling each other about your problems,” the principal further said.
He also reasoned that, as a result of men hating each other, the number of them imprisoned is much larger than the number of women.
The boys, who were entertained by artiste Ikaya, also got sage advice from guest speaker Howard Chamberlain, who serves as President of the political youth arm of the Jamaica Labour Party (Young Jamaica), and as Senior Adviser to State Minister of Education Alando Terrelonge.
Chamberlain, who hails from the tough Grants Pen community in St. Andrew, told the boys that they can be successful regardless of factors such as the communities where they live.
“Your dreams are valid. You can become anything that you want to become; there is absolutely no limits on your abilities,” he said while underscoring the importance of hard work and dedication.
Chamberlain also lamented that too many men are shirking their responsibilities in the society.
“Everywhere you go and look you see that the men are not stepping up; the men are not taking their rightful place in society…” he told the boys.
“We are supposed to be the head of the household, but why we not stepping up and defending our family? Why are we not stepping up and ensuring that we are protecting our children and protecting our wives and ensure they have food on their table to eat?” Chamberlain added.
The school, in the meantime, used the opportunity on January 22 to acknowledge 30 boys under its ‘Big Up’ programme, which recognizes male students who are academic achievers and positive role models for their peers.
The boys awarded included: Robert Spence, Romario Heron, Jordon Williams, Jaheem Bennett and Denzil Bell from Grade Seven; Kimari Riley, Samuel Coote, Owayne Louther, Ranaldinho Lewin, and Kimarey Rose from Grade Eight; as well as Peter Russell, Rajay Carr, Khaleal Knight, Hank Minott, and Tiran Morgan from Grade Nine.
The others are Peter Prince, Alvin Meghie, Matthew Smith, Cedaine Lawton, and Nickoy Burrell from Grade 10; James Tulloch, Akean Mclean, Jeadon Williams, Rojae Barth, and Akeem Taylor from Grade 11; as well as Rayeen Simms, Nickel Lee, Orlando Sterling, Janai Russell, and Tyrell Myers from sixth form.
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